The History of Ballooning really began in the late eighteenth century. The first experiments of flights with hot air balloonl have been conducted in the presence of King John V of Portugal, in August 1709, by a Brazilian priest, Bartolomeu Lourenço de Gusmão. The balloon constructed with paper would reach a height of 4 meters. Then, the Montgolfier brothers made their first tests with a balloon of paper full of hot air in 1782.

Throughout South America, particularly Brazil, in the northern zone of Rio, there is a tradition of making and flying balloons in the paper.

Etienne Chambolle, director of the film "Les ballons pirates de Rio " who speaks best:

"In Rio de Janeiro, thousands of people secretly make at the back of their garage giants balloons paper (over 60 meters high). Alchemy between paper, air and fire, balloons pirates haunt the sky with their impressive designs.
But recently, their activity is punishable by imprisonment. Yet manufacturers of balloon, the "baloeiros" continue to fly their extravagant dreams over the most beautiful bay in the world. "

Originally, there was in Brazil that small models, the balloon of June, which was a family activity. Gradually he became more and more impressive and in the 80s, it took really monumental proportions

This balloons rising into the sky as the hot-air-balloons are a true passion for the Brazilian.

Although banned since 1998, they are also an opportunity for large festive gatherings. Indeed, this craft is regarded with disfavour by the Brazilian authorities, who accuse them of triggering forest fires. But "baloeiros" cling to their traditions... Some achievements have required months or years of meticulous and monumental work, for a moment with a few tens of minutes ... the time of the flight.
Tura, the baloeiro in the film of Etienne Chambolle, admits "People often say that God is Brazilian. I say: Brazilian and Baloeiro, manufacturer of balloons. . He adds: when you fly a balloon "feeling is indescribable when you see the balloon rise and illuminate the night or dawn. You must live and experience the deepest self" Against the Prohibition of balloons, he said: "They destroyed me, they have deprived me of air.
For manufacturing, the "baloeiros' use of tissue paper. These are real paper sculptures. There is no ink or paint. The workshop for a baloeiro is like a sanctuary. The photos above show the impressive work to design a ball of paper. To achieve a pattern of small squares of paper are glued edge to edge.It's the same technique to the giant balloons. We realize the scale with the central photo.

The burners are home-made, with canvas, fabric, cotton, soaked in paraffin. Then they are suspended under balloon to keep warm air.
For the ball in June, just one or two people for the flight. One is the balloon unfolded and vertical, keeping the top.The other check that the wick is centered and far from the envelope and then lights it.

The balloon is then inflated and becomes very light. it must go alone when we release it.

Once the wick is extinguished, the balloon cools and falls to the ground. On the other hand , there must be many to launch a giant ball of paper.

The balloon fears rain and wind, even relatively low because the risk is that the balloon "balance" and ignites.

These colorful balloons of all shapes and sizes can raise banners bearing the likeness of sponsors or sports clubs. (Pictured right).
When they fly at night they are illuminated with candles. We recommend the website Turma del Plata, Brazilian website with plans to manufacture small balls and great pictures.And also the excellent film of Etienne Chambolle, moving, showing the Baloeiros life, their culture and their passion for balloons. You can get the movie "the balloons are pirates Rio" on (below left, a 7mn clip from this film during in all 54mn)

Closer to home in France, Balloons Pirates Association aims to promote arts flying. This group is experimenting with paper balloons and solar in recent years. Self-taught, they develop expertise and empirical techniques in a field where practitioners

are rare in France. They are based in Paris area and Rhône-Alpes, perform flight demonstrations of balloons custom built. They also offer educational workshops and technical training. You can contact the Association Balloons pirates ballonspirates ** AT ** (dont forget to replace ** AT ** with @)